A silent ascent

By Mark

Today’s walk consisted of 15 kilometers between two very small villages, specifically Ambasmestas to the small village of O Cebreiro. O Cebreiro, one of the first villages you come across as you cross into Galicia, has been able to maintain much if its medieval charm over the years and you can walk through the entirety of the town in about 2 minutes.

I decided to walk most of the day alone, which I had not done yet on the trip. It was very different walking the trail without talking to anyone else, and as a result I was able to take in all of my surroundings in silence while completing the physical challenges of the trek. This particular day of hiking involved a steeper incline up a mountain and a very rocky terrain to go along with it. When I say that the strain of the ascent was worth it, it is a gross understatement. The final 5 kilometers of today’s journey provided some of the best views of the trip thus far, and possibly some of the best I’ve ever seen.

Towards the end of the day’s walk, we ended up talking to two girls from Germany, one of whom was in a very similar situation as me. She spoke great English and explained that she had just finished her studies and would be starting to work when she returned back to Deutschland. Sounds familiar. Right before we finished walking for the day, I stopped and was taking in an incredible view and snapping some pictures. As the girls passed me, the one with the great English said, “You shouldn’t take so many pictures – you just have to feel it!” I stopped and thought about the comment for a moment before realizing that she was absolutely right. I had been so quick to pull out my iPhone and take pictures of noteworthy sights along the trail that I may not have felt the moment of scene or object properly. Instead of looking at the things through the window of my iPhone camera, I should be living in them and truly feeling the experience.

O Cebreiro
Lugo, España

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